Archives for February 2018

PA Repub Gov Candidate Wants Death Penalty for School Shooters.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner said Monday that he would pursue a mandatory death penalty for any school shooter who kills someone, although legal analysts said laws like that have been unconstitutional for decades.
The state senator from York County also said he would put an armed officer in every school building.

Penn State Police Now Equipped With Naloxone

The Pennsylvania State University has announced it will start equipping on-campus officers with naloxone, an opioid overdose antidote. Officers on its University Park Campus have been trained on how to administer the medication and how to recognize an overdose. The university says officers will start carrying the medication today. Penn State police say they decided to join university paramedics in carrying the medication due to a higher demand in rural areas. While University Park is the focus now, the university says it plans to have officers carry naloxone on all campuses. Officers already carry the medication at the university’s Berks, Great Valley and Erie campuses.

PA Senator Toomey Will Reintroduce Gun Control Legislation

Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania said Wednesday that he will probably reintroduce legislation to expand background checks on gun purchases, his signature legislation that has failed at least twice in the Senate, but that it may require changes to pass.
Toomey said he has not discussed the bill with President Donald Trump, and said he will get a better sense of how many senators support it when the Republican-controlled chamber returns to session next week. The bill never exceeded 54 votes, short of the 60 necessary, and Toomey said his highest priority is to see if he can increase its backers in the chamber. It would require background checks for all gun purchases online and at gun shows. Currently, the checks are only required for transactions from licensed gun dealers.

PA GOP Leaders Will Go to High Court to Fight Redistricting

Republican leaders of the Pennsylvania Legislature said today they will soon ask the U.S. Supreme Court to halt the imposition of new congressional district maps , two days after they were announced by the state’s highest court. GOP leaders say they will request an emergency stay of what they call a “completely partisan, ultimate gerrymander.” The challenge adds uncertainty as candidates are preparing to circulate nominating petitions to get their names on the May primary ballot. The Democratic majority on the state Supreme Court in January threw out a 2011 congressional district map that had been drafted by Republicans, saying it violated the state constitution’s guarantee of free and equal elections.

Trump Wants PA GOP to Challenge Redistricting

President Donald Trump on today encouraged Republicans to fight Pennsylvania’s new court-imposed map of congressional districts, issued a day earlier in a move expected to improve Democrats’ chances at chipping away at the GOP’s U.S. House majority. Trump tweeted that Republicans should challenge the new map of Pennsylvania’s 18 congressional districts all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary. Republicans have already vowed to challenge it in federal court. The Democratic-majority state Supreme Court met its own deadline Monday to issue the new boundaries after it threw out a 6-year-old GOP-drawn map as unconstitutionally gerrymandered.

PA Gerrymandering Deadline

Pennsylvania’s high court is on the cusp today of imposing a new congressional district map to take effect for the state’s 2018 elections, all but ensuring that Democratic prospects will improve in several seats and boosting the party’s quest to capture control of the U.S. House.
today is the state Supreme Court’s self-imposed deadline to unveil new district boundaries, replacing the 6-year-old boundaries the court struck down in a gerrymandering lawsuit last month. New boundaries for Pennsylvania’s 18 congressional districts are to take effect starting in the May 15 primary and could make substantial changes to a map widely viewed as among the nation’s most gerrymandered.

Free PA Flu Shots Through Rest of Month

In response to one of the worst influenza seasons in recent years, the Pennsylvania Department of Health will hold 41 free influenza vaccine clinics at locations across the state throughout the remainder of February. “The most prevalent strain of flu this season, H3N2, has been particularly difficult for seniors and young children,” according to acting Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine “We’re offering free flu shots because confirmed cases of the virus continue to be a significant health threat throughout Pennsylvania. Call 1-877-PA-HEALTH to schedule an appointment for your free flu shot .

PA Medical Pot Dispensaries Are Opening

A woman who lobbied for passage of Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana law is the first person to legally buy the drug from a dispensary in the state. Diana Briggs says the $178 purchase she made this morning should easily be enough to treat her 17-year-old son for a month.
Briggs credits medical marijuana for reducing her son’s seizures from more than 400 to fewer than 50 a day. There was line of about a dozen people waiting outside the Cresco Yeltrah dispensary in Butler, Pennsylvania, when it opened to customers. Dispensaries are expected to start sales Friday in Pittsburgh, Bethlehem and Enola. Pennsylvania law restricts the drug to certain types of products, so it isn’t available in edible or smokable form.

PA Electric Bills in the Top 20

Pennsylvania households spent an average of $1,400 on electricity in 2016, the 19th highest amount in the country, according to data from the Energy Information Administration. The average residential expenditure is a combination of the average rate charged for residential electricity and the average amount of electricity used by households. The average rate for residential electricity in Pennsylvania was 13.86 cents per kilowatt-hour, the 15th highest rate.

Gov Wolf Says No to Repub Map

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf is rejecting a Republican-drawn map of Pennsylvania’s congressional districts to replace the GOP-drawn map struck down in a gerrymandering case, leaving him to make a different recommendation to the state’s high court. Wolf’s move today comes six days before the Democratic-majority state Supreme Court says it’ll impose new boundaries for Pennsylvania’s 18 congressional districts. Wolf says the Republicans’ latest plan still contains unconstitutionally partisan tactics that favor Republicans. Wolf hasn’t released a proposed map, and justices could consider proposals from lawmakers and other parties to the gerrymandering case. The court threw out Pennsylvania’s GOP-drawn congressional map last month, saying it violated the state constitution.